About Rationally Speaking

Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The all new 5-minute Philosopher videos

Well, I am so darn silly proud of this that I decided to make a short RS post of it. As some of you may know, I have occasionally produced a series of YouTube videos under the title "The 5-minute Philosopher." The idea was to reach out to people with some interest but little or no knowledge of the topic, and see if I could get them a bit more involved. So far there have been four videos, on "What is Philosophy?," "Neuroethics & the Trolley Dilemma," "David Hume, the jovial skeptic," and "Philosophy of Science, part I."

To my surprise, the series has been a pretty good success, with the installment on the nature of philosophy currently counting more than 23,000 hits. As you'll see if you check them out, the videos feature a brief introduction by yours truly, followed by a narrative on the specific topic, illustrated by more or less appropriate images that alternate on the screen "Ken Burns style." The videos were produced using Apple's iMovie.

But then I discovered Xtranormal, one of several sites where you can make your own animated movie by picking characters and scenes, writing the dialogue, and playing with camera angles and other effects. The result is the fifth movie in the 5-minute Philosopher series, a dialogue between the robots Hypatia (the smarty-pants one) and Simplicio (the curious but somewhat inept one), picking up where I left in episode 4 and further discussing philosophy of science. The dialogue, of course, has been the classic form of teaching philosophy from Plato to Hume, and it was fun to put together this one. I hope you'll enjoy it, and stay tuned for further episodes of the 5-minute Philosopher...

1 comment:

  1. Very informative, butI definitely prefer a human voice. Still, it would probably be weird to try to do these kind of dialogues with yourself.


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